What Is Appcues Used For: Top Features and Use Cases

What Is Appcues Used For: Top Features and Use Cases

Curious about how you can use Appcues to grow your product? What are its best features and are there any drawbacks you should be aware of before investing in it?

We answer these questions in this article and dive deep into the use cases and features that Appcues offers, its pros and cons along with its pricing. We also explore an alternative tool that might interest you.

Let’s dive in.


  • Appcues is a digital adoption platform used by SaaS companies in a number of ways, primarily for product adoption, interactive user guides, and user feedback.
  • Some impressive functionalities offered by this tool to help you achieve your goals include user onboarding, in-app support, user segmentation, tooltips, in-app surveys, and survey analytics.
  • While Appcues is a promising solution, there are better alternative tools in the market. One such tool is Userpilot, which offers greater value for money and a diverse feature set, spanning from product adoption to customer feedback to user behavior analysis and beyond.
  • If you want to see how Userpilot can help your SaaS company grow, book a demo today.

There is a better tool for your SaaS than Appcues!

Try Userpilot FREE

  • 14 Day Trial
  • No Credit Card Required

What is Appcues?

Appcues is a robust product adoption and user onboarding platform for web and mobile apps. It enables product teams to create, implement, and test personalized in-app onboarding experiences. The platform also helps you announce new product features and collect customer feedback.

What makes this platform even better is the fact that it offers no-code features that make it suitable for non-technical teams.

What is Appcues used for?

Appcues can be used in multiple ways to grow your company, but we’ll be going into detail regarding the below use cases and their respective features:

  • Product adoption
  • Interactive user guides
  • User feedback

Appcues’s main use case: product adoption

Appcues packs robust features to skyrocket free-to-paid conversions and drive upsells. Let’s take a closer look at how the platform facilitates product adoption.

  • No-code builder: The no-code builder on Appcues lets you create onboarding flows that handhold users through your app. You can also use it to publish in-app announcements that draw a user’s attention to new features and upcoming events.

  • Pre-designed templates: You can choose from many pre-made templates for each UI pattern. It’s easy to create product tours, in-app tutorials and announcements with these templates.
  • Flow targeting: Appcues lets you segment users into different groups based on in-app activity, online behavior, and lifecycle stage. That makes it easier to customize your messaging and win over each segment, helping you convert trials into paying customers.
  • Review prompts: Available on Appcues Mobile, this feature lets you nudge users to rate and review your app on various app stores at the right time. It can help drive new sign-ups as well.
  • Other features, such as event tracking and A/B testing, can also help improve product adoption.

As you can see, Appcues is focused on in-app experiences but is limited by product analytics. Without proper data is hard to understand how your users are adopting your product and where they need help.

You can integrate Appcues with tools like Amplitude, but that comes at an additional cost. If you are looking for a product adoption tool, Appcues might not be the best.

Appcues’s functionality for product adoption: user onboarding

Onboarding new users seamlessly is one of the primary use cases of Appcues. The platform offers a wide array of features to help you improve user activation, conversion, and retention.

Let’s take a closer look at how Appcues facilitates new user onboarding:

  • Drag-and-drop builder: Appcues’s no-code builder lets you create personalized onboarding tours and checklists to assist and educate new users. You can customize UI patterns like hotspots, modals, slideouts, and tooltips to guide users.
  • In-app user guides and product tours: You can use various UI patterns, such as hotspots and tooltips, to introduce new users to product features in a pre-defined sequence. Similarly, you can use checklists to guide users as they explore your app.

  • Checklists: You can also create checklists with Appcues (NOT available on the Essentials plan) and prompt users to take action. These are ok but have limited functionality (you can’t trigger JS functions or add gamification elements) compared to alternatives, such as Userpilot.
  • Segmentation: You can use one of the pre-defined audience segments or create customer segments based on plan tier, lifecycle stage, and other factors. It’s possible to target individual segments with personalized messaging and journeys.

  • Measure and improve: You can track in-app flow performance and measure events (limited to 5 on the Essentials plan) to identify areas of improvement.

  • Test and optimize: The newly introduced A/B testing feature lets you test different onboarding flows. You can compare the performance of different in-app sequences, identify the best-performing ones, and refine onboarding flows.

Appcues’s functionality for product adoption: in-app support

Appcues is primarily designed to facilitate user onboarding, meaning it features that let you provide seamless in-app support.

These include:

  • Launchpads: These let users access all Appcues flows from a dropdown menu within your app. It acts as a handy resource center that users can reference whenever they get stuck. The downside is it offers no categorization or search functionality, so it might get a bit tricky to find resources. You also can’t integrate your chat or KB docs inside.

  • Tooltips: These are useful for walking users through various product features and changes.
  • Modals and screens: They come in handy to notify users about new features that might be useful for them. You can also use them to share inspiration, suggestions, and tips.

Looking for the best tool for product adoption? Search no more!

Try Userpilot FREE

  • 14 Day Trial
  • No Credit Card Required

Appcues’s main use case: interactive user guides

User guides are an integral part of creating frictionless in-app experiences and maximizing product adoption. As a user onboarding platform, Appcues offers various tools to help users understand how to navigate your product.

  • Modals, tooltips, slideouts, and hotspots to help users take the right actions.
  • Launchpad for giving users access to all the flows they’ve engaged with (available on the Growth plan – $879/mo, paid annually).
  • Checklists for guiding users through a series of tasks to complete a goal (also available on the Growth plan).
  • Target these to specific user audiences you can build based on specific criteria such as in-app engagement or events.
  • To trigger your guides when an event occurs, you’ll need to ask for a custom quote for the Enterprise plan, as this option is not available on the Essentials or Growth plans.
  • Appcues supports localization of your walkthroughs only on their Growth plan and up.

Overall, Appcues is a good option for building in-app guidance, but it can get quite expensive fast if you need more than just some simple tooltip guides.

Appcues’s functionality for interactive user guides: user segmentation

Appcues lets you segment users into various groups to create personalized onboarding flows and in-app experiences.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Partially setup segments: These include Explorers, Beginners, Regulars, and Champions and come with in-depth instructions on how to customize them for your product. This is a good way to start, but it doesn’t offer the full customization one needs for driving product growth.
  • Custom segments: You can create custom user segments based on various factors, including in-app activity, persona, lifecycle stage, etc.

  • Two-way integration with CRM platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce can facilitate better segmentation by giving you access to more product usage data that can differentiate your users and the stage in their journey.

Appcues’s functionality for interactive user guides: tooltips

Tooltips are among the most useful UI patterns available on Appcues. You can use them to control user journeys by compelling them to take specific actions. It’s also possible to customize each tooltip to align with your brand image.

You can attach tooltips to both static and dynamic elements using Appcues and use them for various tasks, including user onboarding, new feature announcements, and contextual messaging. Adding tooltips is fairly straightforward too. You just need to drag and drop them on the desired element and publish them.

It’s possible to edit the text in the tooltips in the visual Appcues Builder right away before publishing them. Additionally, you customize the theme, clone the tooltip, and even save it as a custom template.

The best part about tooltips is that they’re available on every pricing plan without any limitations. You can even create floating and anchored tooltips for mobiles.

Some of the use cases of tooltips include:

  • Creating action-driven product walkthroughs for user onboarding
  • Announcing new features without disrupting the user experience
  • Guiding users with contextual support and hints

While the Appcues Builder lets you design tooltips without coding, you can further customize them using CSS if you wish to.

Appcues’s main use case: user feedback

As a product adoption platform, Appcues offers limited features that enable you to collect customer feedback. There is only one type of survey available (Net Promoter Score), and it comes with templates and analytics.

  • NPS templates: You can customize pre-built NPS templates using the drag-and-drop builder.
  • NPS targeting: Use NPS results to encourage promoters to review your product on app stores or ask detractors for more feedback.

  • You could add a survey lookalike on top of a modal, but that means you won’t be collecting and analyzing results easily, defeating the purpose of using a survey for user feedback.

Appcues’s functionality for user feedback: in-app surveys

Appcues only lets you create NPS surveys to collect feedback from customers. You can use a workaround and add a microsurvey to a modal, but this won’t be collecting any analytics and analysis responses will be difficult.

If NPS surveys are enough for you, here’s what Appcues offers:

  • NPS: The most commonly used survey option is NPS, which lets you identify loyal users and detractors.

  • Survey analytics: You can track, analyze, and visualize NPS survey results. It’s also possible to export the results into a PDF file.
  • Target and trigger your NPS survey to specific audiences.

Appcues’s functionality for user feedback: survey analytics

Appcues lets you create NPS surveys only with its no-code builder. If you’re looking to build CSAT, CES or collect product feedback using surveys, Appcues is not the tool that can help.

But, you get a few tools to analyze survey results and take the necessary steps to improve user experience if NPS surveys are enough for you.

The most commonly used NPS survey analytics features on Appcues include:

  • Date ranges and visualization: You can filter survey results based on custom date ranges and view them in the form of an easy-to-understand graph.

  • Segmentation and filtering: You can filter NPS survey results for specific user segments to understand customer feedback and sentiment better.

  • Data exports: You can export the results into a PDF file that’s suitable for printing or emailing to other team members.

However, it’s worth noting that Appcues offers limited options in terms of survey templates. If you’re looking to collect detailed customer feedback, Userpilot’s survey options offer more flexibility.

How much does Appcues cost?

Pricing for Appcues starts at $249 per month, with the platform offering three distinct tiers – Essentials, Growth, and Enterprise.

The total cost can vary depending on the number of monthly active users (MAU). For instance, the Essential plan starts at $249 per month for 2500 MAU but jumps to $299 for 5000 MAU.

Here’s a detailed glimpse of the different pricing tiers:

  • Essentials: It’s the basic tier that starts at $249 per month. It includes 3 user licenses and lets you add up to 5 audience segments. Some UI patterns, such as checklists, launchpads, and custom CSS support, aren’t available. Customer support is only available through email.
  • Growth: This tier starts at $849 per month (for 2500 monthly active users) and includes 10 user licenses. You can target unlimited audience segments and use the full spectrum of UI patterns. Additionally, you can access the Premium Integrations package, which includes integrations with Slack, Salesforce, Marketo, and Zendesk.
  • Enterprise: This is the most feature-packed tier and includes robust security controls like role-based access and activity logs. It’s also the only tier that comes with multi-account and localization support. Besides email and phone support, you also get a dedicated Customer Success Manager and Technical Implementation Manager. Pricing is available on request.

All three plans come with a 14-day free trial, where you can test unlimited flows and track up to 5 events. You can extend the trial by another 14 days by installing the Appcues SDK in your app. Additionally, you don’t need a credit card to sign up for the free trial.

Keep in mind that the above pricing plans are applicable to web apps. Pricing for Appcues Mobile is available on request.

It’s also worth noting that Appcues is pricier than some of the other product adoption tools available in the market, including Userpilot. For instance, Userpilot’s basic tier (Starter) lets you add up to 10 audience segments and includes the complete set of UI patterns.

Benefits of using Appcues

As a first-comer in the no-code product adoption landscape, Appcues offers several valuable features. It’s suitable for mid-market SaaS businesses looking for a simple, easy-to-use tool that enhances user onboarding, retention, and the overall customer experience.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Appcues:

  • Intuitive UI and UX: Appcues offers a straightforward interface that’s easy to navigate and use. Users with non-technical backgrounds can design captivating in-app flows and onboarding journeys with its simple drag-and-drop builder. You can tailor user journeys with various UI patterns, from modals and hotspots to tooltips, slideouts, and banners.
  • Simple setup: You can get started with Appcues in minutes by adding the SDK to your app’s source code or integrating Appcues with Segment or Google Tag Manager. Then, add a Chrome extension to launch the Appcues Builder in a few quick clicks and start creating in-app flows.
  • Feedback options: Create Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to collect actionable user feedback. You can even check and analyze NPS analytics on your Appcues dashboard.
  • Mobile onboarding: Besides web apps, you can use Appcues to create end-to-end experiences for mobile apps. It supports various mobile environments, including Native Android, Native iOS, React Native, Flutter, and Iconic.
  • Extensive integrations: Appcues integrates with 20+ email automation, CRM, and analytics tools, including Heap, Zapier, HubSpot, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager. Many of these include two-way integrations.

Drawbacks of using Appcues

Appcues comes with a ton of useful features you’d expect from a leading product adoption platform, but it does have a few shortcomings.

Let’s look at a few drawbacks of Appcues:

  • Poor element detection: The Appcues algorithm occasionally struggles to detect in-app elements, unlike some of its competitors like Userpilot. It’s particularly limiting when you want to add tooltips to individual options in a dropdown menu.
  • Limited customization capabilities: While Appcues lets you customize pre-designed templates, you’re limited to basic options like font style, size, color, and padding. Advanced customization requires working with CSS code, which can be challenging for non-technical teams.
  • Basic analytics: Appcues provides insights into product usage and customer behavior. However, you can’t access in-depth analytics without connecting to a third-party tool like Amplitude or Google Analytics.
  • Limited survey options: Appcues lacks variety in feedback collection and survey options and doesn’t offer integrations with other platforms like Google Forms and Typeform. You can only build NPS surveys. This is in contrast to some of its competitors, like Userpilot, which offers an extensive library of customizable survey templates.
  • Higher pricing: Starting at $249 per month, the Appcues Essential tier has several constraints, such as limited UI patterns and no custom CSS support. Moreover, localization support is only available in the Enterprise tier. If your app is multilingual, you’ll have to shell out a ton of money to make the most of Appcues.
  • No live chat: While Appcues offers educational resources and a help center (Help Docs), customer support is limited to email and phone.

There is a better tool for your SaaS than Appcues!

Try Userpilot FREE

  • 14 Day Trial
  • No Credit Card Required

Why an alternative is needed for Appcues?

Are you wondering if Appcues is the right fit for your user onboarding needs or if you should check out other options?

Here are a few reasons why using an Appcues alternative makes sense:

  • You want more customizability. Customization options on Appcues are limited to color, size, and style. Advanced customization will require you to work with CSS code. It can be a roadblock when your team members lack technical expertise, leaving you dependent on developers.
  • You’re on a budget. With Appcues, you’ll have to pay more to access advanced features like custom CSS, localization or even simple checklists. If you’re a startup or small business with a limited budget, you might benefit from using a tool like Userpilot that offers more value for money.
  • You want to collect detailed customer feedback. Appcues offers limited functionality in terms of surveys. If you want to explore other survey and feedback collection formats apart from NPS, Appcues may not be an ideal choice.

Userpilot: A better alternative to Appcues

As one of the first product adoption platforms in the market, Appcues comes with a robust set of features.

However, Userpilot takes the lead in the following areas:

  • Ease of use: Both Appcues and Userpilot offer intuitive, user-friendly interfaces. But Userpilot keeps things simple with a single dashboard to create, implement, and track in-app experiences. In comparison, Appcues requires you to constantly switch between Appcues Builder and Appcues Studio.
  • Advanced analytics: Unlike Appcues, Userpilot provides in-depth product analytics (funnels, trends, paths, retention analysis) without a third-party tool.
  • Efficient element detection: Userpilot’s algorithm does a better job at detecting complex UI elements. That, in turn, helps you create more detailed and personalized user journeys.
  • Prompt customer support: Userpilot offers multi-channel support via email, phone, and live chat. The presence of live chat support enables you to get your queries addressed and resolved in real time. This key feature is absent in Appcues.
  • Better value for money: Userpilot packs more features, user licenses, and audience segments than Appcues at a comparable price tag. These include a comprehensive library of survey templates, a full set of UI patterns, detailed built-in analytics, and multilingual support, starting at $249/mo.

Userpilot’s main use case: product adoption

Product adoption is when users become repeat users of your product. It covers the entire journey spanning from the awareness stage to trial signup and finally full-on adoption. As a product growth platform, Userpilot has advanced analytics capabilities for tracking adoption over time.

Here are the Userpilot features that can help you measure and improve product adoption:

  • Product analytics: Userpilot lets you create trend reports to track adoption over time by feature or segment, funnel reports that show you which steps of the process most users get stuck on, and integrations with third-party analytics providers so you can sync data between tools.
  • Feature engagement: Userpilot’s click-to-track feature tagger lets you see how often a feature is used and by how many people. You’ll also be able to see the top 20 events for a certain time period or create custom events that group multiple features together for clearer insights.

  • Feedback collection: Userpilot has a no-code survey builder with 14 templates to choose from. You’ll be able to collect quantitative data like CSAT, CES, or NPS ratings and qualitative feedback on the strongest/weakest parts of your product straight from your users.

  • User insights: The Insights dashboard lets you monitor user activity based on which segment they’re in and which company they’re from. You’ll also be able to choose from daily, weekly, and monthly time periods to see if user activity is shifting towards full product adoption over time.

Userpilot’s main use case: interactive user guides

Interactive user guides can help users figure out how to use your product and get them towards activation faster. Here are the Userpilot features you can use for creating interactive guides:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot lets you build in-app guides using modals, slideouts, banners, etc. without writing any code. You can also tinker with audience settings to target specific segments or exclude users who meet certain conditions from seeing a particular flow.

  • Spotlight elements: The spotlight feature lets you add standalone UI elements like tooltips, hotspots, and driven actions that aren’t part of a multi-step flow. This makes it possible to display contextual guidance when users hover over a feature they’re interested in.

  • Funnel reports: Userpilot’s advanced analytics capabilities include funnel reports that show you which pages or actions most users get stuck on. This can help you identify confusing or high-friction areas that can be removed through contextual interactive user guides.

Userpilot’s main use case: user feedback

User feedback is an essential part of listening to the Voice of the Customer (VoC) and making product development or marketing decisions that best suit your customer base. Userpilot has a no-code survey builder, 14 templates to choose from, and advanced analytics for extracting insights.

Here are the Userpilot features you can use to collect customer feedback and analyze it:

  • Survey builder: Userpilot’s survey builder lets you edit the content, update the widget’s style/placement, and set page-specific or event-specific triggers to ensure that users see the survey at the most contextual moment — all without writing a single line of code. You can also translate surveys into your audience’s native language.

  • Survey templates: There are 14 survey templates to choose from with a wide array of different use cases. You can collect qualitative responses on how to improve the user/product experience or quantitative data for customer satisfaction benchmarking such as CSAT and CES scores.

  • Advanced analytics: Userpilot’s advanced survey analytics will show you what the most common responses were, what percentage of users selected a specific option, and display open-ended feedback about your product or specific features.

  • NPS dashboard: Userpilot’s NPS dashboard compiles response data from all NPS surveys so you don’t have to manually go into each survey and check its analytics. You’ll be able to view key metrics like response rates, total views, and NPS history and sort all the data by different segments.

How much does Userpilot cost?

Userpilot’s transparent pricing ranges from $249/month on the entry-level end to an Enterprise tier for larger companies.

Furthermore, Userpilot’s entry-level plan includes access to all UI patterns and should include everything that most mid-market SaaS businesses need to get started.

userpilot pricing new april 2024
Userpilot has three paid plans to choose from:

  • Starter: The entry-level Starter plan starts at $249/month and includes features like segmentation, product analytics, reporting, user engagement, NPS feedback, and customization.
  • Growth: The Growth plan starts at $749/month and includes features like resource centers, advanced event-based triggers, unlimited feature tagging, AI-powered content localization, EU hosting options, and a dedicated customer success manager.
  • Enterprise: The Enterprise plan uses custom pricing and includes all the features from Starter + Growth plus custom roles/permissions, access to premium integrations, priority support, custom contract, SLA, SAML SSO, activity logs, security audit, and compliance (SOC 2/GDPR).

Benefits of using Userpilot

As a full-suite digital adoption platform, Userpilot has all the features you need to onboard users, track analytics, and gather feedback from customers without writing a single line of code. Here are a few pros of using Userpilot as your product growth solution:

  • No-code builder: Userpilot’s Chrome extension lets you build flows, add UI elements, and tag features without writing a single line of code.
  • UI patterns: There are plenty of UI patterns to choose from when using Userpilot, such as hotspots, tooltips, banners, slideouts, modals, and more!
  • Startup-friendly: Userpilot’s entry-level plan gives you access to all available UI patterns so you can hit the ground running.
  • Walkthroughs and flows: Build engaging interactive walkthroughs and personalized onboarding flows that target specific segments of your user base.
  • Self-service support: Build an in-app resource center to help users solve problems, customize its appearance to align it with your brand, and insert various types of content (videos, flows, or chatbots) to keep your customers satisfied.
  • A/B testing: Userpilot’s built-in A/B testing capabilities will help you split-test flows, iterate on the best-performing variants, and continually optimize based on user behavior.
  • Feedback collection: Userpilot has built-in NPS surveys with its own unified analytics dashboard and response tagging to help you retarget users. There are other survey types to choose from and you can even create your own custom survey.
  • Survey templates: There are 14 survey templates to choose from so you can gather feedback on specific features or run customer satisfaction benchmarking surveys like CSAT and CES.
  • Advanced analytics: Userpilot lets you analyze product usage data, monitor engagement on all in-app flows, and use the data to create user segments that are based on behaviors instead of demographics.
  • Event tracking: Userpilot’s no-code event tracking lets you tag UI interactions (hovers, clicks, or form fills) and group them into a custom event that reflects feature usage.
  • Third-party integrations: Userpilot has built-in integrations with tools like Amplitude, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Segment, Heap, HubSpot, Intercom, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager so you can share data between all the solutions in your tech stack.

Drawbacks of using Userpilot

Of course, no tool is perfect and there are a few cons to consider before choosing Userpilot as your user onboarding or product growth solution:

  • Employee onboarding: Currently, Userpilot only supports in-app customer onboarding.
  • Mobile apps: Userpilot doesn’t have any mobile compatibility which could make it difficult for developers with cross-platform applications to create a consistent user experience for both versions of their product.
  • Freemium plan: There’s no freemium Userpilot plan so those bootstrapping their startup and need sub-$100 solutions should consider more affordable onboarding platforms like UserGuiding or Product Fruits.


While Appcues offers impressive functionality, there are a few drawbacks that need to be considered before making the final decision. If you’re looking for an alternative solution with superior functionality and greater value for money, then Userpilot is what you need. Book a demo to see it in action.

Looking for the best product growth tool? Userpilot is what you need!

Try Userpilot FREE

  • 14 Day Trial
  • No Credit Card Required
previous post next post